OAKBORO –– Four games into the inaugural NC3 American League Baseball season, West Stanly’s senior team fell to 1-3 after Sunday’s 16-5 loss to Rowan County.
NC3, the newest baseball league in central North Carolina, was formed after the official cancellation of the American Legion baseball season in April.
The league is comprised of teams from the American Legion’s Area III and features a 22-game schedule, which began on June 24 and ends on July 30. Stanly County’s senior and junior teams play their home games at The Ballpark at West Stanly.
The senior baseball team (1-3, 1-2 league) opened up its season on June 29 with an 11-7 home loss to Greensboro; it followed that up with a 19-4 home win over Mount Airy on July 1. Two days later, West Stanly fell on the road to Greensboro, 9-5.
“We’ve been struggling the last couple games defensively, but the bats are starting to wake up and we have high hopes for the remainder of the season,” Stanly County outfielder Riley Huneycutt told SCJ. “It feels good to be out there with my friends since all of our seasons were ruined.”
Stanly County’s next round of games includes a home matchup Wednesday with Randolph County, a road game against Davidson County on July 10, a home game against Kannapolis on July 11, and a road trip to Concord on July 12.
The other teams in the new league include Randolph County, Mocksville/Davie, Union County, Lexington Davidson and High Point.
Eight players from West Stanly High School are members of the Stanly County senior squad: Cody Kidd (OF/RHP), Brady Parker (C/IF), Huneycutt (OF), Colton Austin (IF/RHP), Cody Naylor (IF/C), Bentley Furr (OF), Connor Tucker (IF) and Carson Morton (IF/RHP).
Nine players from South Stanly High School are on the team: Cam Bowers (IF/RHP), Sawyer Smith (IF/RHP), Garrett Swink (RHP), Jaxon Buck (OF), Dawson Thompson (IF/RHP), Trevor Tucker (IF/RHP), Chance Hunt (IF/OF/RHP), Reese Crump (C/OF/RHP) and Jaxon Barbee (IF/RHP).
Nic Melton (IF/OF/LHP) and Jake Andrews (OF/RHP) are the two North Stanly High School players on the senior roster. Filling out the team are two players from outside the county: Piedmont High School’s Colby Lamm (RHP/C/OF) and Anson High School’s Garret Maner (IF/RHP).
Stanly County’s head coach is Jordan Sells, who also serves as an assistant baseball coach at West Stanly.
Due to Gov. Roy Cooper’s COVID-19 restrictions, fan participation throughout the NC3 season will be very limited — a maximum of 25 people is allowed to sit in the stands.